The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat became caught in an illegal gin trap in Higham Ferrers.
Owner Liz Elthick said her cat Tiggy returned to the family home in North End on Tuesday 20 November with the trap stuck on his left front leg.
She said Tiggy was trying to get through the cat flap, but couldn’t, and when she went to investigate she found the trap firmly clamped around his paw.
She rushed him straight to a local vet, and said she was amazed that the brutal trap had not caused more damage.
The trap had bruised Tiggy’s leg and it was extremely swollen, the claws on his other paw were broken as a result of him trying to dig the stake attached to the trap out of the ground.
She added: “Tiggy doesn’t wander far from home but he had to manage to jump over our garden fence to get back into the garden and all the while he had this awful trap clamped on his leg. He really is a tough little boy and very clever. I am just relieved that there was no lasting damage as a result of it.”
Gin traps are illegal and if you set them you are breaking the law, whether they catch anything or not.
Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a maximum £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison.
The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and any traps which cause suffering.
Trapped animals will struggle when caught and may succeed in pulling the trap from its anchor only to die later from their injuries.
RSPCA inspector Polly Underwood is investigating the incident and anyone with any information as to who may have owned the trap or set it, or those who know of other illegal traps in the area are urged to call the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (texts costs £3 + one standard network rate message).